Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.Dr. Seuss
Volunteerism strengthens communities and brings people together. In Ravenswood, volunteers give their time to feed and clothe people in need, they keep our rivers, parks, and bioswales clean, and they help bring incredible events and programming to the neighborhood.
Local Nonprofit Organizations
We field regular requests for volunteers from a number of amazing local nonprofit organizations and community groups, and we pride ourselves in connecting them to passionate Ravenswood residents.
We actively promote our local nonprofit groups for Giving Tuesday each year. An updated list of volunteer and donation opportunities is published on our website and in newsletters to help connect neighbors and businesses to organizations doing great work.
Current Local Nonprofit Needs
The Common Pantry
Like many food pantries, we rely heavily on volunteers to keep our pantry open and ready to serve the people who need our services most. You can volunteer in many different ways, from supporting an event to helping us distribute food to clients each week or serving lunch on a Wednesday.
Learn about how to get involved by visiting our volunteer page.
Ravenswood Community Services
Every Tuesday, we distribute groceries and hot meals to neighbors. Volunteers are welcome and asked to sign up in advance (Info can be found on our website under the Volunteer tab).
Other ways to help include donations of pasta and rice within their expiration dates, financial support for the food pantry and community kitchen, and words of encouragement posted to RCS’s Facebook page. Pasta and rice donations can be dropped off Tuesdays between 1-7:30pm at 1757 W Wilson Ave.
The Friendship Center
Our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. In the pantry, they assist shoppers as they select food and other items. In the stock room, they receive, sort, and shelve items for easy use. On Thursdays, they prep, cook, and serve well over 100 dinners. On the weekends, they box and deliver resources to seniors and other homebound folks in need. Once a month, they provide pet food to those in need.
Click here to find out how you can help.
Opportunities in the Community
Ravenswood Farmers Market
Our local farmers market runs from June through October in the parking lot of the Ravenswood Covenant Church. We would love your help with the market. Opportunities to help out include staffing the welcome tent, assisting with vendor set-up, children’s activities, and more. If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved, email RCC Project Coordinator Amy Czarkowski for details.
Community Greening: Volunteer with the Ravenswood Community Council
From Spring to Autumn, the Ravenswood Community Council organizes a number of ways to get involved with neighborhood gardens and greening programs. We primarily maintain the Berteau Greenway Bioswales and the Lawrence Avenue Bioswales. We are always in need of volunteers to help us maintain the bioswales by remove litter and debris. We can also connect you with organizers of the Montrose Metra Community Gardens and the Bowmanville Gateway Gardens for further opportunities. Learn more about community greening and parks in Ravenswood.
Volunteer at Community Events to Support Local Art & Greening Projects
For our signature annual events, like Ravenswood ArtWalk and Ravenswood On Tap, we rely on the support of our community to help us staff our entry gates, sell tickets, and serve beer. Proceeds from our events fund small business support and community programming from the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (501c6), and public art and placemaking projects from the Ravenswood Community Council (501c3).
Raise Funds with Us: GRCC’s Nonprofit Giveback
We also partner with local non-profit organizations who are interested in fundraising through our larger festivals. In return for each shift their volunteers cover, we offer a monetary donation to the nonprofit they represent. GRCC has helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars for organizations like Montrose Metra Community Garden, The Friendship Center Food Pantry, the Bowmanville Community Organization, Common Pantry, Friends of Ravenswood Elementary, Friends of Amundsen High School, and even the Mather High School Cross Country Booster Club!
To learn about how your organization can partner with future festivals, contact GRCC Project Coordinator Amy Czarkowski.